Be mindful of your example.
Raising kids with ADHD is tough. They seem to have been born with the gift of instilling frustration even in the most peaceful of humans. It isn’t their intent, mind you. Far from it, in fact. But, nonetheless, their innate behaviors can frustrate everyone around them, especially their parents.
If a parent has an emotional, intense, or inflexible response, the child will too. If the parent remains calm, the child will be calmer than when everyone is emotionally charged. When a parent is angry or aggravated, it only escalates the child’s behavior, adding fuel to the already burning fire. Nothing productive can come from a clash of the titans in your own living room. Repeat after me, “No-thing.” When that happens, everyone walks away angry and frustrated, your child feels misunderstood and down on themselves, and the issue that started it all didn’t even get addressed, much less resolved.
When he was younger, I found myself yelling, “Why can’t you just ____” statements at my son, Ricochet, repeatedly, every day.
“Why can’t you just listen the first time I give instructions?”
“Why can’t you just stand in line without jumping around?”
“Why can’t you just calm down for five minutes?”
“Why can’t you just get the chore over with and move on?”
“Why can’t you just do your homework?”
Well, he can’t “just” do these things because genetics and environment clashed to create a brain that simply isn’t built for it. Once I realized, and accepted that, I could begin my journey to calm and positive parenting — two parenting traits that are crucial to success in families with ADHD and/or “high-functioning” autism in the mix.
So, how does a parent remain calm in the throes of a challenging, frustrating, intense situation?Read More